When I heard this read in church recently, I was struck immediately by the absolutely critical nature of this question. It confronts every person, whether they acknowledge it or not. “Who do you say Jesus is?” There are many possible answers – a good moral teacher, a mythical religious character, a prophet, a sad, somewhat deluded man who lived a long time ago, or maybe not a person, but just a word used as an expletive.
The disciples with Him at the time offered some responses which they had heard from various people. Jesus made it personal – “What about you? Who do you say I am?”
Peter responds with the correct answer, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
The man Jesus is the‘promised one’, the Saviour and the Son of God. He is both man and God – the Way the Truth and the Life. He is the only one by whom any person can be forgiven for their sins, be restored to God the Father, and become an inheritor of all the blessings of the Kingdom of God.
As Christians, it can be tempting to increasingly decry the ways in which the moral standards of our society are deteriorating. There is no doubt that the world around us has turned its back on God, His word, and the foundational Christian beliefs. But what’s new? It has ever been thus.
The hope for the world is, and always has been, the gospel message of Jesus the Messiah. As His followers, living among people who are without hope and without God, our primary responsibility, I believe, is to pray for opportunities to ask the big question, “Who do you say Jesus is?”, and to be willing to listen, and prepared to respond with the truth.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You commended Peter for speaking out the truth of who You are. Please help me to be passionate about who You are and to be equipped to readily and accurately share who You are with others. Amen.
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